Prairie Living Roof at Helen Schuler Nature Centre Adults looking at a flower ID guide Living roof blooming with high level bridge in background Alberta Real Estate Foundation Prairie Roof

Alberta Real Estate Foundation Prairie Living Roof

Enjoy the view from our Living Roof, located on the second floor of the Nature Centre. The Living Roof is one of the best spots to slow down and reflect. Learn about prairie plants and discover the diversity of the grasslands!

The impressive view provides a wonderful backdrop for quiet contemplation. Yoga, tai chi, pleinair classes, and private photography sessions are offered here. The living roof demonstrates ecological design, a concept where your actions give something back to nature!

Did you know?

There are two distinct types of living roofs at the Nature Centre!

The first is a conventional living roof. A thin layer of growing medium supports drought tolerant succulent plants, like sedums. These plants have very shallow roots and establish quickly.

The second is a prairie roof designed as an educational space. It demonstrates the concept of biodiversity, also known as variety! A publicly accessible patio allows visitors to get up close with the 30+ species of wildflowers and grasses. Be sure to ask for a Plant ID Guide at the front desk so you can learn more about each plant!

Benefits of a Living Roof

  • A Giant Sponge – Unlike other roofs, a living roof can store rainwater in the growing medium, where it is then used by plants. Any excess rainwater is filtered before it drains off the roof.

  • Healthy For You – Research shows that living roofs, like all “green spaces,” make people feel better! Community benefits include educational opportunities and space for more urban agriculture.

  • Long Lifespan – Plants protect the roof from the damaging effects of sun and daily and seasonal weather fluctuations.

  • Energy Efficient - The living roof provides insulation. Less energy is needed to heat and cool the building. Research shows that a living roof can reduce air conditioning demand by 75%.

  • Air Filters – Plants are good! They capture airborne pollutants, trap dust, reduce smog and provide us with oxygen.

  • Urban Coolant – Plants work to cool cities during long hot summers, reducing the heat island effect.

The City of Lethbridge acknowledges that we are gathered on the lands of the Blackfoot people of the Canadian Plains and pays respect to the Blackfoot people past, present and future while recognizing and respecting their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship to the land. The City of Lethbridge is also home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III.